Stats Centre Reports October 2018 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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Canadian Housing Starts – November, 2018

Canadian housing starts increased 9 per cent on a monthly basis in October to 205,925 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian housing starts continued to moderate lower, averaging 206,000 units SAAR over the past six months.

In BC, total housing starts rebounded slightly in October after a sharp September decline. Total starts were up 17 per cent to 29,861  units SAAR and but were still down 45 per cent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were up 30 per cent to 25,464 units SAAR while single detached fell 8 per cent to 7,784 units SAAR. Compared to October 2017, multiple units starts were down 51 per cent while single detached starts were 22 per cent lower.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA bounced back somewhat in October, rising 26 per cent on a monthly basis to 14,238 units SAAR as multiple units starts rose 41 per cent from September. However, starts have been trending lower for the past few months and were down 49 per cent compared to October 2017. Most new construction activity in October was concentrated in the City of Vancouver, which accounted for over half of all starts in the Metro Vancouver area.
  • In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 12 per cent in October to 2,728 units SAAR but were 71 per cent down year-over-year. However, on a year-to-date basis, housing starts in Victoria are just 6 per cent below the record level set in 2017.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction remained slow in October, falling 7 per cent to just 629 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, total starts were down 64 per cent to just 62 total units.  While housing starts in Kelowna have fallen off of the record pace of 2017, they remain on pace to finish above the 10-year average for the city.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA nearly tripled from September to 1,734 units SAAR due to 120 new multiple unit starts in October. On a year-over-year basis, starts were 22 per cent higher.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

BC Home Sales to Rise in 2019

BCREA 2018 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – November, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2018 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 23 per cent to 80,000 units this year, after recording 103,768 residential sales in 2017. MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase 12 per cent to 89,500 units in 2019. The 10-year average for MLS® residential sales in the province is 84,800 units.

“The marked erosion of affordability and purchasing power caused by the mortgage stress test and rising interest rates continue to be a drag on the housing demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, continuing strong performance in the economy combined with favourable demographics is expected to push home sales above their 10-year average in 2019.”

Despite the mortgage policy drag on the sector, strong performance of the BC economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand. Five consecutive years of above trend growth in the province has led to a high level of employment and an unemployment rate that appears to be at a cyclical low.

The combination of fewer home sales and a larger inventory of homes for sale has helped trend most markets to balanced conditions. As a result, home price growth has slowed considerably, and is expected to more closely reflect overall consumer price inflation through 2019. In addition, a record number of homes are under construction in BC, which will provide for much needed expansion of the housing stock and greater price stability.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Building Permits – November, 2018

The total value of Canadian building permits rose 0.4 on a monthly basis in September to $8.1 billion, driven primarily by record high construction intentions in Quebec.

In BC, the total value of permits fell 20 per cent in September from a record high of $1.8 billion in August. Residential permits fell 17 per cent on a monthly basis and were 5.6 per cent lower year-over-year. Non-residential permits were down close to 25 per cent on a monthly basis but were up nearly 20 per cent year-over-year. Total permits in BC were up 8 per cent for the third quarter, though residential permits were off 5.3 per cent due to lower construction intentions for single-family dwellings.

Construction intentions in September were mostly lower in BC’s four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
• Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined 20 per cent on a monthly basis to $25.1 million. Year-over-year, permit values were down 31.7 per cent.
• In the Victoria CMA, total construction intentions nearly doubled on a monthly basis to $134.5 million, a 24 per cent increase year-over-year.
• In the Kelowna CMA, permits values decreased by 11.1 per cent from August to $84.7 million, but were nearly 50 per cent higher compared to September 2017.
• In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits fell 38 per cent after a spike in permit values in August. On a year-over-year basis, the value of permits was 8 per cent lower.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Employment – November, 2018

Total Canadian employment was up by 11,200 jobs in October after jumping by 62,000 jobs in September. Part-time employment declined by 23,000 jobs while full-time work was up 34,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate ticked 0.1 points lower to 5.8 per cent. Total employment was up 1.1 per cent, or 206,000 jobs compared to this time last year.

In BC, employment fell by 1,100 jobs in October after adding 33,000 jobs in September. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 2 per cent and the provincial unemployment rate fell 0.1 points to 4.1 per cent, the lowest rate of unemployment in the province since December 2007.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.